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Plastic bags end up in wrong places

A person with their lunch in a plastic

A person with their lunch in a plastic bags walks in midtown in New York on February 28, 2020. Credit: AFP via Getty Images/TIMOTHY A. CLARY

With the discussion about the state’s plastic bag ban and some of the inconvenient effects on folks [“Senior citizens deserve bag relief,” Letters, March 13], we must consider the creatures that cannot weigh in on the debate. I’m referring to the wildlife both above and below the water. Consider that mammals, like whales and dolphins, hunt in the dark ocean using sonar; a plastic bag can easily be mistaken for squid and once eaten will start the clock to a slow and painful death.

Research has shown that when plastic resides in saltwater, it takes on a “sea smell” that fish, turtles and birds mistake for food. Again, that ingested plastic will be deadly and find its way into our food chain. How long, if not already, will we be eating those plastics?

As a frame of reference, in the past five years, Operation SPLASH volunteer cleanup crews have removed more than 51,000 plastic bags from our South Shore bays, beaches and waterways. We think it’s time to take social responsibility to stop the flow of plastic into our environment. Plastic products do have their place, but that place is not our oceans.

Rob Weltner,

Freeport

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Operation SPLASH.

Littering plastic gloves is a danger

A law was passed banning plastic bags in part to help reduce litter on roads and waterways. Now, it seems those plastic bags in the streets are being replaced by plastic gloves. Why do people toss these gloves into shopping carts and onto the ground?

It’s distressing enough to see our environment trashed every time I go for a walk or drive, but with these gloves everywhere, and considering the reason for the gloves, it takes it to a whole new level. Why would someone think it’s OK to have someone else remove their possibly contaminated gloves from a shopping cart? Why would someone think it’s OK to make the environment uglier? Laws are passed, but evidently laws don’t change people’s mindsets. Can’t anything be done to influence people to stop being so cavalier about trashing the environment?

Terry Feldman,

Central Islip

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